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NFL Free Agency 2012: Saints Schedule Visits with Linebackers, Tight End

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The New Orleans Saints are starting to get a bit more active in free agency, with visits scheduled for three separate free agents this week. Tight end Joel Dreessen and linebackers David Hawthorne and Joe Mays will all check out the facility this week.

Hawthorne - 6'0" 246lbs. - will arrive Friday and is the player Saints fans should get most excited about. The 27-year old has led the Seahawks the past three years in tackles with over 100 in each season. He's also notched 7 interceptions in that time. Though he's primarily a middle linebacker, he's also played the weakside. Contrary to what some may believe, I wouldn't consider him a replacement for Jonathan Vilma.

Sacks Interceptions Tackles
G Sacks YdsL Int Yds IntTD Solo Ast Total
2011 - David Hawthorne 15 2 8 3 111 0 72 43 115

Also visiting over the weekend will be Broncos linebacker Joe Mays - 5'11" 250lbs. - who predominantly plays the middle as well. He's coming off a career high 74-tackle season. Mays came to Denver by way of trade from Philadelphia and has shown steady improvement throughout his career. With some good coaching, he could be a good pickup for the Saints.

Sacks Interceptions Tackles
G Sacks YdsL Int Yds IntTD Solo Ast Total
2011 - Joe Mays 15 0 0 0 0 0 63 11 74

Finally, there's the 6'4" 245lbs. tight end Joel Dreessen, whom the Saints should be very familiar with from their time practicing and playing the Texans during pre-season. He'll be turning 30 years old this summer and has put up decent numbers the past three seasons for Houston. Making Dreessen and even more attractive option is the fact that he's a special teams ace.

Receiving Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG Lng TD KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
16 28 353 22.1 12.6 56 6 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0